Instead of praising Wal-Mart for offering less expensive goods to stretched consumers, David Nelson depicted Wal-Mart as a thug on Fox News Channel’s “Cavuto on Business.”
Nelson, DC Nelson Asset Management’s founder, harshly attacked Wal-Mart comparing the company to gangster Al Capone and calling it “the Antichrist” Feb. 14.
Guest host Charles Payne was discussing Wal-Mart’s push to open new stores in Chicago, and argued that the city is more likely to allow the retail giant now that the recession has created a need for more sales tax revenue and new jobs.
Nelson outraged Fox Business Network host Dagen McDowell when he said, “we also liked Al Capone when he was giving to the poor. But they, they’re like the Antichrist. They come in here, on the pretext, of giving jobs, but this is the perfect environment for them to go after forbidden prey.” Nelson did concede that jobs would be created if
McDowell lambasted Nelson for his extreme comparison saying: “You just compared Wal-Mart to the Antichrist?! You are out of your tree! You have no idea what you’re talking about.” McDowell defended the company suggesting that “we should be thankful” that Wal-Mart even wants hire people at a time when jobs are so desperately needed.
Throughout the segment, Nelson defended his anti-Wal-Mart tirade. Nelson’s objection to Wal-Mart was that its “object is to rotate jobs from higher paying workers to lower paid workers.”
Nelson worried that like the historical example of Standard Oil, Wal-Mart is “too big, too powerful, and has too much control over the consumer and Washington.”
Economist Ben Stein, author of “ How to Ruin the United States of America,” protested this comparison saying that Standard Oil was fixing prices above market levels. He explained that Wal-Mart benefits consumers by setting prices below the market level. “Wal-Mart is, is essentially a philanthropy for the, for, for, for, for low income people,” he contended.
Calling Wal-Mart a philanthropy did not persuade Nelson, who responded, “I’m gonna use an ugly word, Ben, but that’s how a parasite works.” Nelson claimed that when Wal-Mart moves into a town “economic activity drops, wages go down,” but didn’t mention the source of that claim.
With the exception of Nelson, the other analysts on the Feb. 14 show listed several reasons to support Wal-Mart’s expansion into big cities.
Adam Lashinsky, senior writer of Fortune Magazine, lauded Wal-Mart’s expansion for bringing investment to communities. He said it was great that Wal-Mart is asking
Stein complimented Wal-Mart as “an incredible friend,” a “great gift,” and “the consumers’ best friends right now.” He told Nelson that “we want people to be able to buy more things with their fewer dollars in a recession. That’s Wal-Mart.”
Agreeing with Stein, McDowell added that Wal-Mart improves the quality of life for many people by making things more affordable.